Air & Space: Do you think there was ever a time when we needed an independent Air Force?
Farley: No. I think it was a serious mistake to give the Army Air Force its independence in 1947, just as it was a mistake to make the Royal Air Force independent in 1918. The experience of the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II demonstrated that American airpower could win decisive victories as a part of pre-existing military organizations.
What do you think the Air Force has gotten right?
The Air Force has gotten a lot right. Especially in the period between 1972 and 1991, when it identified many of the internal problems that had caused difficulties in Vietnam, and engaged in the slow, hard process of reform that was necessary to create an organization that could act as a partner for the Army and the Navy. This included training reform, procurement reform, and doctrinal reform.
This is probably Quartermaster’s favorite subject.